Glutamine is one of amino acid that has prominent function in building muscle. It is a building block of protein which is essential for our body. Glutamine is naturally produced by our body but sometimes the need of glutamine in everybody is different that’s why sometimes adding glutamine by consuming some foods which are rich of glutamine is highly recommended or for faster result usually people also taking glutamine supplement. Glutamine is one of the essential substances required by our body and the lack of it will cause some deficiencies that will harmful for our body. However, the optimum usage of glutamine could provide a lot of benefits for our body as well.
Recently, there are a lot of glutamine supplement that are offered in the marketplace with specific target market which is those who are currently in bodybuilding program or those who are currently in chemotherapy treatment. As mentioned above its main function is to build muscle mass and density. Just like in the bodybuilding, intensive workout is not everything because the burnt fat cells just cause a person to lose the body weight while the building of muscle required protein like glutamine. While for cancer patients who are currently conducting chemotherapy treatment, taking glutamine has been prove to be able in reducing some symptoms of side effect caused by the treatment. However, it is not the only benefit you could get from this type of amino acid. There are more health benefits that you should know about glutamine.
Benefits of Glutamine
Below is the list of benefits of glutamine that you should know. However, one thing to note, all of the benefits mentioned below are already proven by studies and researches though some benefits are still in debatable though some evidences have proven the otherwise.
- Improve Gastrointestinal Health
The fact that glutamine provides protection to gastrointestinal health is not only a random assumption but already proven scientifically. Glutamine will aid in protecting the digestive tract that will improve the gastrointestinal health. Besides that as building block of protein it has significant role in rebuild and repair the intestines muscles and keep the tract healthy and function optimally.
- Treat Stomach Ulcers
As anti inflammatory and also good for digestive tract, glutamine is recommended for those who have problem with their stomach and glutamine has been proven to be able in treating stomach ulcers as well as prevent stomach cancer. It is because glutamine could assist in fighting the infection as well as repairing the damaged tissues and muscles caused by the ulcers.
- Aids in Memory
Consuming glutamine supplement or foods rich of glutamine has been proven to be able in improving the memory ability since it is one of the essential neurotransmitter required by brain to function optimally.
- Increase Focus and Concentration
Glutamine is an amino acid which also has been using by several brain condition treatments and have been proven to be able in increasing focus and concentration. Glutamine will make sure the brain to function optimally. Optimal function of brain means optimal focus and concentration. That’s why glutamine is also used to treat some brain condition like ADHD.
- Treat Diarrhea
Glutamine is also able to treat and heal diarrhea because as anti inflammatory surely glutamine could assist in reducing the effects caused by the inflammation and it also has ability to prevent further infection by increasing your immunity system.
- Promote Muscle Growth
Glutamine is also essential protein to promote muscle growth. That’s why glutamine supplement is mostly consumed by those who are currently in body building program. Body building program is not only about intensive and intense work out because some substances in the body required for building muscle mass and density. During work out the glutamine in the body will be depleted in order to build the muscle’s mass and density by secreting the human growth hormone.
- Improve Athletic Performance
Athletic performance is supported by healthy bones as well as healthy muscles. Having strong muscle must affect an athlete performance. However, strong muscle would not be formed with enough amount of glutamine in the body, that’s why an athlete should make sure they take enough glutamine, not only to maintain their body but also to improve their performance. It is because glutamine could work as glucose replacement when the blood sugar level in our body is too low.
- Recovery after Exercise
An intensive workout is not only about losing weight or building muscle. The point of doing intensive workout is to burn the fat and calorie but after that your body will suffer some deficiencies that should be replaced immediately. It is important so your body will get back to normal condition but with lighter weight and stronger muscle, that’s why taking glutamine is recommended because it will accelerate the process of recovery after exercise and you are ready to do another exercise again.
- Improve Metabolism
Glutamine is also beneficial in human body to aid in improving body metabolism specially calorie burning. Logically during workout you need energy to do the exercise and the important source of energy is glucose or blood sugar which obtained from foods contained carbohydrate. However, when the amount of glucose is not enough and then body will automatically take the glutamine as the replacement.
- Glutamine for Detoxification
Recent researches have found one more benefit of glutamine; it is as detoxification and making sure that the blood will be freed from toxins in order to keep the blood healthy. Glutamine contained two essential of nitrogen which has function to remove excess toxins in the blood while kidney will excrete it. In other words, glutamine has important role in regulate the balance of acid/base in the body.
- Fight Cancer
There are some reasons why glutamine is able to fight cancer. The first is the function of glutamine as antioxidant that is beneficial to block any oxidative stress caused by free radicals that usually lead to the damaged cells and glutamine could make sure to prevent the healthy cells are damaged by free radicals. The second is glutamine is a protein compound that has main function to repair damaged cells.
- Provide Protection for Immunity System
Immunity system is essential system in our body. Once it is disturbed some medical conditions will easily affect your healthy body because of the risk of infection is increasing. However, glutamine is also having important role in making sure your immunity system is under checked by producing one of the essential antibody called lymphocytes which has vital role in our immunity system.
- Reduce the Symptoms of Nerve Pain
One of the main functions of glutamine is to assist cancer patient who is currently conducting the chemotherapy to deal with the side effects. Nerve pain is one of the side effects usually suffered after chemotherapy treatment. Taking glutamine could assist in reducing the symptoms.
- Treat Joint and Muscle Pains
Beside nerve pain, joint and muscle pains are another side effects mostly suffered by cancer patient after conducting chemotherapy treatment. Logically, this kind of treatment could kill or destroy cancerous cells, just imagine what this treatment could do to the healthy cells. That’s why glutamine aids in reducing the side effect caused by this kind of treatment.
- Improve Recovery after Surgery
Taking glutamine supplement or consuming foods that are rich of glutamine is recommended for those who are in recovery state after surgery. It is due to the ability of glutamine as immunity system booster which has been proven to be able in accelerating the recovery as well as prevent infection.
- Treat Depression
Depression in everyone could be different. Some just feel stressful while others will suffer several symptoms and mental conditions. Recent studies have found that glutamine is also able to treat patient with depression issue. Though those studies required more researches but so far there are some indications that taking glutamine could assist in reducing the symptoms of depression.
- Dealing with Insomnia
Well, it is closely related to the condition of body that will require more amino acid like glutamine while under stress condition. Stress condition could lead to some problems and one of them is insomnia. When our body is in stress condition, naturally more glutamine is required. Once the amount fulfilled, body will naturally back to normal.
- Treat Patients with Anxiety Issue
Anxiety issue could cause by a lot of factors but psychologically, anxiety considered as mental problem. However, in stressful condition body could respond to anxiety as well and in that condition body will require more glutamine. Taking glutamine regularly will make sure our body to avoid all kinds of stress condition and it is possible to avoid anxiety issue as well.
- Used to Treat ADHD
Glutamine is also well known as neurotransmitter which is good for brain. The problem of patient with ADHD is they have problem with focus and concentration because their brain is not functioning optimally. As mentioned above, point 3 and 4, glutamine has been proven to be able in improving memory ability as well as focus and concentration. That’s why taking glutamine for patient with ADHD is highly recommended to reduce the symptoms.
- Treat Weight Loss in Patients with Critical Illness
People who are currently suffering some critical illness like cancer and HIV/AIDS are mostly losing their weight drastically no matter how much food they’ve consumed. Taking glutamine by mouth could assist them in gaining weight. Glutamine will assist in optimizing the nutrients absorption obtained from food.
- Reduce Swelling and Soreness Inside Mouth after Chemotherapy
A person, who is currently conducting chemotherapy as part of their cancer treatment, usually suffers the soreness and swelling inside their mouth. Some researches have found that consuming or taking glutamine supplement could assist in reduce the side effect of this condition. However, it couldn’t be applied to all patients, especially those who didn’t have enough glutamine in their body before the chemotherapy treatment is started.
- Aids in Producing Glutathione a Potent Antioxidant
Everybody knows the main function of antioxidant is as it is essential to protect the body from free radicals that could cause the development of cancerous cells. Besides that antioxidant is also having prominent role in protecting the immunity system. One more benefit of glutamine is it is essential substance to produce a natural antioxidant called glutathione which is also well known as cell damage preventer.
- Treat Low Blood Sugar
During workout, blood sugar or glucose is very essential because it is the source of energy to burn the fats and calories. However, some people don’t realize that blood sugar is essential during workout and doing a wrong diet. In that kind of condition, when the blood sugar level in the body is relatively low, body will automatically take the replacement from glutamine. That’s why making sure you are consuming foods and supplements that contained relatively rich of glutamine after workout is important because without which you are only losing weight but not building any muscle.
- Treat Alcohol Addiction
You have problem with alcohol addiction and it seems really hard to just stop drinking. Well, there are a lot of factors that could cause someone cannot control their appetite toward sometimes including alcohol but glutamine has been proven to be able in inhibit someone appetite toward consuming too much alcohol and reduce the craving.
- Aids in Weight Loss Program
Surely it is beneficial for you to take only protein foods rich of glutamine as part of your daily diet for weight loss program. However, surely weight loss program is useless if it is not combined with regular exercise. Glutamine could assist in optimizing the result or the after affect of exercises so you are not only able to get rid of some excess fats and calories but at the same time could build muscle mass and density.
Warnings and Cautions of Glutamine
Generally, glutamine is essential protein required by our body but some people decided to consume glutamine in the form of supplement while others add more quantity of food contained glutamine. Actually, the main reasons why people prefer to take supplement are because they need the optimal function of glutamine like in bodybuilding program or when a person is in the middle of chemotherapy treatment. However, some health condition also could cause the production of glutamine in the body is inhibited, that’s why additional quantity of foods that rich of glutamine is recommended to be added in daily diet.
However, the side effects of glutamine usually occurred to those who are regularly taking the supplement because surely the content of glutamine in supplement is so much higher if compared to glutamine obtained directly from foods. So, for those who are currently taking glutamine supplement some points below should be taken into serious consideration or your body will suffer the otherwise. Instead of health benefits, you will get more serious medical condition.
- A person with serious liver condition should avoid consuming glutamine supplement in all cost because it will make the condition worse. Though you are not having liver condition but consulting your plan of taking glutamine to your doctor is necessary because it is also able to negatively interact with certain drugs or supplements that you’re probably taking.
- A person who is already sensitive to MSG also should need to avoid glutamine supplement.
- A person with cirrhosis condition should avoid glutamine in all cost because consuming it will cause a worse condition and could lead to more serious medical problem.
- Though there are still some debates whether glutamine is safe or not to be consumed during pregnancy or breastfeeding is better for pregnant women and those who are currently breastfeeding to just stay in the safe dosage by consuming foods contained glutamine and avoid consuming the glutamine supplement. If somehow you need to consume it, you should consult the safe dosage with your doctor first to avoid any medical problems that may occur.
- Though glutamine is safe to be consumed by most adult but it is still debatable whether glutamine is safe to be consumed by children age 3-18 years old. However, giving glutamine to children with low dosage or not more than 0.7 gram per kg of weight is still considered as safe but if you are not really sure and then don’t or at least consult this matter with your children’s doctor to make sure about the dosage.
Some of you might be wondering what kind of foods that you should consume whenever you need to add glutamine into your daily diet. Well, generally all foods contained protein is rich of glutamine like dairy products such as milk and cheese. Meat, organ meat, poultry, seafood and eggs also contained quite high amount of glutamine that you could consume daily.
If you are a vegetarian, you don’t need to worry as well because glutamine also found in nuts, beans and legumes and also in some vegetables like cabbage, beet, spinach and parsley but you have to be careful in consuming them, eat them raw is better because cooking them will destroy the glutamine.
If you cannot deal with raw vegetables, you still could make it into vegetables smoothie which is healthy and delicious options to consume vegetables. However, if you are a vegetarian and taking glutamine supplement, making sure that the supplement obtained from veggies only and not from meat products.